How IoT sensors can optimize maintenance costs

Smart factory, IoT, IIoT, Industry40, digitalization, manual valve monitoring, condition monitoring, asset monitoring

Finland’s transmission system operator, Fingrid, has been eager to digitalize the maintenance and monitoring of their operations. Over the years, Fingrid has organized 4 different innovation contests to find the best partners for industrial digitalization. Haltian won one of these contents in Spring 2018, and now Haltian’s wireless sensors are used to measure the temperatures of connecting components in electrical substations.

Haltian IoT sensors measure temperature

Haltian provides Fingrid with a temperature monitoring service, where the sensors can measure the temperature inside a substation, as well as in the high voltage parts of the power grid. One sensor can measure several things. In Haltian’s sensors, a rise in temperature is a sign of increasing electrical resistance, which can be caused by, for example, dirt or corrosion. Sensor-based IoT solutions enable predictive maintenance, where possible problems are detected before they happen.

Pertti Kujala, Haltian’s Director of Smart Production Solutions, says that working with Fingrid has been extremely fruitful, and that company sets a great example for organizations finding digital solutions to develop their operations and maintenance. According to Pertti, the main point in starting with digitalization, is to start somewhere: “When we start to use IoT sensors to measure one thing, the client often finds other possibilities for digital optimization along the way”.

Fingrid power grid in sunrise
Any breaks on a power grid can cause expensive repairs and interruptions in power distribution

Monitoring reduces maintenance costs and ensures reliable power distribution

In Fingrid’s case, the condition of the equipment must be followed regularly, to repair them before any breaks. Haltian’s wireless Thingsee sensors enable constant monitoring with real-time data, whereas previous methods have included, for example, spot checks between which errors might have occurred unknowingly. In addition, this maintenance is often very expensive since there can be thousands of different items and phenomenon to monitor.

Fingrid power grid in sunrise

Effective maintenance with Fingrid

Fingrid is Finland’s transmission system operator. They secure reliable electricity for their customers and society and shape the clean, market-oriented power system of the future. Electricity is transmitted through substations and power grid lines. From an asset management perspective, Fingrid’s task is to secure that the critical grid components serve in proper condition 24/7. We asked Fingrid’s […]

Read the customer case

The greatest threat is that breakdowns in the power grids can cause interruptions in power distribution, which would cause enormous trouble in the lives of everyone using electricity. This makes predictive maintenance particularly important.

“The sensors don’t necessarily remove the need for checks altogether, but they make monitoring more effective and reduce the risks of breakdowns”, Pertti summarizes.

Customized services

Haltian’s services can be customized according to customer needs. In Fingrid case, all sensors are customized according to their location and different connecting components. The sensor data shows where the sensor is located in the substation, so any problems can be pinpointed to their right source. In addition to this, the locating service enables the sensors to be used to track, for example, technicians, equipment and tools if needed.

Smart production is one of Haltian’s focus areas in IoT solutions, and predictive maintenance is one of the key elements in this area. The strength of Haltian’s services is the fact that Thingsee platform, which is based on top of AWS cloud services, can be used to measure many different things as it is, and for this reason, beginning to end customization is not always needed. Thingsee wireless sensors are easy, quick and cost-effective to set-up.

Pertti says that many industrial operations could be optimized with digitalization, and Haltian’s Thingsee platform offers a fantastic, ready, and easy to scale solution to different types of industrial environment. In addition to temperature, Haltian Thingsee sensors can be used to measure, for example, humidity, air pressure, ambient light, presence, and distance.

Pertti Kujala, Director of Smart Production Solutions at Haltian
Haltian’s Director of Smart Production Solutions, Pertti Kujala is exited to attend the Kunnossapito 2019 –maintenance seminar and learn more about what the direction advanced maintenance might take in the future.

Pertti will be attending the Kunnossapito 2019 –maintenance seminar in Jyväskylä, Finland, where advanced maintenance will be one of the key focus points. “The seminar will be very interesting, and it will help us understand the different challenges and trends in maintenance today. Digitalization will certainly be a big part of industrial maintained in the future”, Pertti concludes.

Read more about Fingrid using digitalization to optimize their monitoring here. (Unfortunately, this article is only available in Finnish.)